Sunday 9th September 2012, 15:00 - Round:27
|Leroy Cudjoe 2, Luke George, Michael Lawrence, Danny Brough, Luke Robinson 2, Scott Grix,||T||Jimmy Keinhorst, Ryan Hall, Kallum Watkins, Carl Ablett, Jamie Peacock,|
Danny Brough 8,
Kevin Sinfield 2,
Attendance: 9,128 Official: T Alibert Venue: The John Smiths Stadium
Reigning Stobart Super League champions Leeds Rhinos will need to pick themselves up for the play-offs after ending the regular season with a shock defeat by 12-man Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Giants re-discovered the form that enabled them to top the table after 12 rounds as they completed their first league double over Leeds for more than half a century.
Huddersfield’s biggest-ever Super League win over the Rhinos was a personal triumph for newly-appointed captain Danny Brough, who created his side’s first two tries, scored a solo effort and kicked eight goals from 10 attempts for a 20-point haul.
And it came despite playing for 65 minutes a man short after the dismissal of forward Luke O’Donnell for a challenge on Leeds prop Ian Kirke which caused a 10-minute stoppage in play.
Kirke, a member of Leeds’ Carnegie Challenge Cup final team, had been introduced from the bench only moments earlier but he was forced to undergo lengthy treatment on the field before being despatched to hospital where checks cleared him of any serious injury.
O’Donnell, who was also sent off against Leeds last season, received his red card from referee Thierry Alibert at the end of the break in play.
After initially allowing play to continue, Alibert stopped play after the next tackle to enable Kirke to receive treatment and, during a 10-minute stoppage, he delivered a warning to O’Donnell.
The Australian forward was then replaced by substitute Larne Patrick but several minutes later was recalled to the field by Alibert and, once Kirke had been carried from the field on a stretcher, was shown the red card.
Huddersfield were leading 10-0 at that stage after making a blistering start to their final game of the regular season with two tries in the first seven minutes.
Brough put full-back Leroy Cudjoe through a gap for the opening score and then hoisted a towering kick for left winger Luke George to claim his 15th try of the campaign.
Even down to 12 men, the Giants were much the livelier team and they stretched their lead after 28 minutes when right winger Jermaine McGillvary palmed back Brough’s kick to the corner for centre Michael Lawrence to touch down.
Brough’s second conversion brought up his 1,000th point but there was little sign of the points feast to come.
Leeds hinted at a fightback when skipper Kevin Sinfield combined with Weller Hauraki to get centre Jimmy Keinhorst over for a try, but Brough crucially struck on the stroke of half-time, intercepting Carl Ablett’s pass to scoot 30 metres for an opportunist score.
Brough’s conversion made it 22-4 and he increased his side’s lead with two penalties early in the second half before second rower Brett Ferres broke clear to get hooker Luke Robinson over.
The Rhinos pulled a try back on the hour through winger Ryan Hall but Huddersfield simply went up a gear to produce some breathtaking rugby.
Stand-off Scott Grix touched down Brough’s grubber kick and then flipped up a ‘miracle’ pass for Robinson to claim his second try.
Cudjoe then finished off a glorious passing move to register his side’s eighth try which made it 48-10.
The Rhinos staged a late rally which brought further tries to centre Kallum Watkins, Ablett and prop Jamie Peacock but they were little more than consolation efforts for the well-beaten champions.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Forty Twenty: 1